It was the 1980’s. Dad and I were driving along when I spied a video rental store that had recently opened.
“Why don’t we rent a movie sometime?” I suggested.
“Makes no damn sense to pay to use something when you can spend a little bit more and actually own it,” Dad retorted.
“But you can watch more things for the same amount of money,” I argued.
“And have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end of the day,” Dad countered.
Over the years I’ve tried it both ways. I’ve rented movies, used subscription services…. What could be easier than just paying a few bucks to watch your favorite movies or listen to music?
The answer: actually owning the items in question. When you own the items you can watch them as often as you like. You don’t have to worry about the service you subscribe to removing your favorites or lose access to your whole collection because you happen to be low on money.
Even better, you can sell your copies if you decide you no longer want to keep them or need some extra cash.
Because of this revelation I have cancelled my movie and music subscriptions. I would rather own just a few items than pay to have access to a lot.
Instead of sending money to subscription services, I set that money aside for when I get a chance to look through the bargain bins. Some months I don’t add anything to my collection while others reveal so many hidden gems that I force myself to select only a few.
Minimalism is a good thing but it gets ridiculous when you pay something for nothing. Since most of us don’t live out of backbacks there is no excuse for us to throw our money away when it comes to entertainment.
In short: If you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on entertainment, get something to show for it at least. You can always sell it on eBay when you’re done.